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Anemia and Blood in rectum
May 30, 2001

My husband just found out he was HIV+ the end of March; the end of April we found out his viral load was 14,500 and CD4 cells were 250. The doctor says he may have had this for as long as 12 years. Well now his blood count is a little low 12.3 and they found blood in his rectum. I am scared can you give me some advice. Thanks

Response from Dr. Dezube

In terms of his HIV, he should do okay if he starts HIV therapy. I'll adress the anemia and blood in the rectum. This needs to be evaluated. Blood in the rectum can be due to bleeding from ulcers, tumors, hemorrhoids and so on. If the source is high up in the gastrointestinal tract, such as in the stomach, you often don't see bright red blood, but rather just the anemia and darkening of the stool; if the bleeding is lower down, such as in the anal area, then the bleeding often if bright red blood. Depending on your husband's circumstance, he may need to have a colonscopy (fiber optics up the rectum) or gastroscopy (fiber optics down the esophagus). Alot depends on the individual circumstances. I appeciate your fear, Stay upbeat. Most, if not all of the conditions you describe, are quite treatable- that goes for the HIV, for the anemia, and for the bleeding. BD.

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